David Bintley, director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, explores how the Second World War was the making of British ballet and how fundamental the years of hardship and adversity were in getting the British public to embrace ballet.
When a handful of musical immigrants from the Caribbean islands came to Britain in the 1920s and 30s, it was the beginning of both musical and political change. Leslie Thompson, an innovative musician and trumpeter, and Ken 'Snakehips' Johnson, a brilliant dancer and charismatic band leader, pooled their talents to start the first black British swing band. Clemency Burton-Hill reveals the untold story of the black British swing musicians of the 1930s, whose meteoric rise to fame on London's high society dance floors was cut short by unexpected tragedy at the height of the Blitz.
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A series marking the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Blitz. Celebrities explore the Blitz history of their home cities.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the start of the Blitz, John Humphrys returns to south Wales to discover more about the devastating Nazi bombing campaign and how it affected those who experienced it. He sees the reconnaissance maps the Germans used to identify key bombing targets. He takes to the air to follow the direct flight path of the Luftwaffe bombers, as they attacked Cardiff and Swansea. Back on the ground, he also meets survivors of the bombings, including Elaine Kidwell from Swansea, who describes the Blitz on the city as hell. He also visits locations where the bombs hit, including the site of Hollyman's Bakery, the setting for the single worst atrocity in Cardiff. This is a personal story for John, who was born in 1943, and who remembers playing amongst the rubble of the bombsites in Splott, near Cardiff docks.